A new session of STAND will begin on Monday, September 14. For more information, please visit and click on the links for "Stand." Our last session together was WONDERFUL... you won't want to miss this study!

Ready to jump in? Why not take a picture of your rainy day shoes (or you know... boots, flip-flops, bare feet... whatever!) E-mail your photo to And we'll post them with your first name along the side-bar.

Can't wait to study with you!!!
Love, Mary

Monday, June 15, 2009

Friday, June 12 2009

I CAN’T TELL YOU how completely I enjoyed reading and learning from the discussion on Hagar yesterday. It was personally a huge encouragement to me!! I hope it was to you too. I hope that we’ll return to that story again very soon and dig in a little deeper!!! I wanted to go short today… but the Lord has led to a little more and I’m praying you’ll leave encouraged for your weekend! So hang in there!!! (Thank you so much for partnering in this study!)

Let’s head back over to Psalm 1 today. Will you take a moment to read through it again?Blessed (beyond what our eyes may immediately see) is the man“THE man [translated haish] is emphatic; that man; that one among a thousand who really lives for the accomplishment of the end of which God created him.” Adam Clarke 1844

- He is worth seeking and obeying … let’s be “that {wo}man!!!”

who does not:
Walk in the counsel of the wicked
Stand in the way of sinners
Sit in the seat of mockers.

Do you see the general breakdown there? Walk – stand – sit. Wicked – sinners – mockers. Hardening is always a general progression. The first one mentioned - wicked - (the “least of these” ) is called wicked yet interestingly – and disturbingly- enough is also translated as ungodly. Therefore walking in this way does not merit terrible acts of treachery. We are ungodly… even wicked… when we aren’t striving to be like Christ. Yikes. Is that unsettling? Yes. A threat? No. It’s reality that God has graciously continued to remind us of… to help us press on for abundant life… beyond our comprehension. Thank you Lord.

But… we are sinners. All of us. How then can we possibly not stand in the way of sinners?The answer is in the Word of God! (as usual! :)) (Verse 2) But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law He meditates day and night.We are sinners… can’t change that. But we CAN stand IN the grace, redemption, and power of GOD! And we do it by delighting in His word. WHY?!?! Because… HE delights in US. (Read Hebrews 12:2-3). WOW. Stop and thank Him for delighting in YOU! For offering hope to those who walk in the way of sinners.

For your study: What does it look like to stand, walk as Christ asks us to? Read Ephesians 6:10-13, Psalm 23:4, Isaiah 30:21, Micah 6:8, John 8:12, 1 John 1:7

“Although a sinner himself, he is now a blood washed sinner, quickened by the Holy Spirit, and renewed in heart. Standing by the grace of God in the congregation of the righteous, he dares not herd with the multitude that do evil.” – Spurgeon

“But His delight is in the law of the Lord…”Delight is translated will. “His WILL is in the law of the Lord!” The emotional form we think of when we hear “delight” comes only after committing, obeying, and seeking God through His word. Contrary to our gut reaction, there is no room for disappointment in abiding in His word. It just won’t happen when we do it with a heart seeking God! When we submerge and submit, it will be our delight. The struggle is just to step in…More on delight: Isaiah 55:2, Psalm 37:4, Psalm 51:16, Isaiah 61:10, Zephaniah 3:17“…

That is why for Christ’s sake I [delight in weaknesses], in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10- “I am Strong” (2 Co. 12:10)… = “I am blessed” (Psalm 1:1)!!! To delight in the Lord, acknowledge your own weakness. Ask Him for help. Then you find His strength and blessing!

For discussion: What does it mean to know (verb form please!!!) that He is strong and you are weak? What are the personal applications that we can each apply today? What are the blessings of applying these things?!?

"The will which is here signified, is that delight of heart, that certain pleasure in the law, which [does not look at what the law promises, nor what the law threatens, but at this only: that the law is holy and just and good. Hence it is not only a love of the law, but that loving delight in the law which no prosperity, nor adversity, nor the world, nor the prince of it, can either take away or destroy: for it victoriously bursts its way through poverty, evil report, the cross, death, and hell and in the midst of adversities, shines the brightest.” – Martin Luther

WOW… wow. If that doesn’t make you excited.. and eager… Please go back and read it again. No… seriously. Every day.. one step deeper with God!! The way to blessing… to strength.. to victory… is through seeking. :)One final thought: Revisit our key verse on the side bar of this page…and the blessings we discussed on day one. The only thing required of us is to KNOW God and what He can do… and then to rise up and STAND in it. He will do the rest. Remember our precious story of Hagar today… if you feel like Hagar remember: God SEES YOU… and He DELIGHTS in you!!!

Discussions will stay open all weekend… and the discussion guides will resume on Monday. Remember to send in your prayer requests if you wish. Have a great weekend and HAPPY 29TH ANNIVERSARY TO MARLENE AND DARYL!!!


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